Dream of: 30 October 1999 "Top Of The Hill"

Carolina and I were sitting in a restaurant in a Latin American country, having a meal. I was thinking of staying in this country permanently, but I was a bit concerned about our safety here. I was unsure exactly which country we were in, and I needed to know. I was bothered that we might be in Colombia. I had recently heard about how many kidnappings took place in Colombia these days, and I simply didn't think I would feel safe living in Colombia. To my relief, I finally realized I was in El Salvador. I felt much safer by the realization, but still a bit nervous.

The restaurant was crowded with other people, most of whom seemed to belong to the legal profession. These people clearly formed part of the upper crust of Salvadoran society, and I reflected that if I lived here in El Salvador, these would be the people with whom I would associate. Here in El Salvador, since I was also an attorney, I would be known as a "licenciado." I had never thought much about the word before, but now I rather relished the sound of it.

Of course I wasn't yet sure I would want to practice law in El Salvador. I felt the urge to work, but I was just not certain I wanted to practice law. Instead, I might like to buy and sell things for profit. I had about $200,000 in capital which I could use for business. If I could buy goods in El Salvador, and then ship them to the United States, I might be able to make some good money. I had done well in the past at buying and selling, and I thought I might be able to do so again.

I might even be able to work on a large scale. I thought about my sister, how she had begun working for a company which imported minerals from China, and the stories she had told me about the importing process. I remembered her saying that the shipments of her company were valued in the millions of dollars. I could do something like that. I would have to borrow money to work on such a grand scale, and I didn't like the idea of borrowing. No, if I exported goods from El Salvador, I would work on a more modest level.

When Carolina and I had finished eating, I complemented her for having chosen a modestly priced meal. Our meals had cost less than a tenth of what the meals eaten by most of the other people in the restaurant cost, yet we had eaten quite well.

Carolina told me that she was returning to the hotel room where we were staying, and that she would meet me later. Only when she had walked out and left me seated at the table did I slowly realize another fellow was sitting at the table with me. He was about 30 years old, clearly Salvadoran, and apparently also a lawyer. We began talking. He spoke excellent English, but since I wanted to work on my Spanish, I spoke Spanish.

I finally figured out the fellow was acting as a sort of guide for me until I became better acclimated to the country. I didn't mind receiving his help; however, I was a bit dismayed to learn he would also be staying in the same hotel room with Carolina and me. I suspected he had no money for a room of his own. I wasn't pleased, but I accepted his presence.

At last I decided to return to the hotel, and the fellow and I stood to leave. Once we were outside, however, the fellow and I became separated, and I was left alone on the street. Only now did I realize I didn't know where I was. I had a general idea of the direction of the hotel, but I didn't know the address. As I walked toward where I believed the hotel to be, I realized I was in a very upscale section of the town. In fact, this area of the town seemed to be built on the top of a high hill. All the buildings were white and the streets were immaculate.

I also noticed that the people I met showed little trace of Indian blood, that they were tall and light-skinned, of obvious European ancestry. These people on top of the hill were in strong contrast to the hordes of poor Indian-blooded people who lived along the sides and bottom of the hill. I needed to be careful not to lose my way and stray off into those darker sections. My reluctance to leave the top of the hill seemed a little unsettling even to me, especially since I reflected that Carolina had Indian blood in her, and that she could stray with impunity into the lower parts of town. Nevertheless, I didn't want to leave the top of the hill myself.

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